Moonwalking To Odd Squad

  • The 50th anniversary of America putting a man on the moon: Do we proudly celebrate or soberly reflect? Fist-bump for “American Exceptionalism” or wax nostalgic for Plessy v. Ferguson? Fifty years ago, Americans had “the Right Stuff.” A half century later, we have an Oval Office occupant who embodies “the White Stuff.” Lunar joy to lunatic president.
  • At least President Donald Trump didn’t confuse Neil Armstrong and Michael Jackson over moonwalking.
  • Amid all the racial divisiveness that comes with the targeting of four feisty freshman congresswomen of color, where’s Ivanka Trump? Doesn’t her, uh, “portfolio,” include something about “women’s empowerment”? Or were we not ever to have taken that seriously?
  • Fake News Update: Donald Trump, it has been revealed—by Donald Trump–does not “have a racist bone” in his body. Not even a spur.
  • The calculated, disingenuous defense of Trump by spineless House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was a classic case of the all-too-familiar zero-sum misdirection ploy. He dismissed the House resolution rebuking Trump’s racist tweets as “all about politics.” For the record, he refused to condemn the president’s tweets as racist. He then proclaimed that the real issue was not about racism, but it was all about “Socialism vs. freedom.” Joe McCarthy would have liked the bumper-sticker pivot.
  • Trump transparency: So, the president has been intervening with Sweden on behalf of jailed black rapper A$AP Rocky. He’s even offered to personally vouch for his bail. It’s an obvious, diversionary gambit from all the pushback he’s taking over his racist tweets. It gives blatant hypocrisy a bad name. Too bad he listens to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian instead of those who genuinely care about race relations and condemn those who foment racism for their own self-serving agendas.
  • Who would have thought that George Wallace and Lester Maddox would still be this relevant in 2019 politics?
  • Speaking of the former, back in the day I caught a George Wallace rally inside a hangar at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport. A lot of Country & Western music, a lot of Washington establishment condemnation and a lot of “states’ rights” rhetoric. “States’ rights,” of course, was dog-whistle rhetoric for race—most notably, integration and school busing. Upon reflection and by today’s “lock her up,” “sh_thole countries” and “go back to where you came from” rhetoric, “states’ rights” dog-whistling never seemed so nuanced and civilized. As an outsider, I never felt threatened. Doubt if Jim Acosta can say the same thing these days.
  • “Our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”—That was President Ronald Reagan warning about what would happen if the U.S. were to shut its doors to newcomers.
  • Donald Trump, as we well know, is largely unread. Alas, a notable exception is the Autocrat’s Handbook. He’s likely underlined and written in the margins.
  • It’s too bad that “American Exceptionalism” isn’t synonymous with “Country First,” followed by party partisanship and self-serving political careers.

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